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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 11:35am - 11:55am
Juveniles In Jail: ALEC Membership And Juvenile Incarceration Throughout The States

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The state of Hawaii has every sociological factor that contributes to high juvenile incarceration rates: high poverty, large economic gaps, high levels of substance abuse, and poor education. What is puzzling about this is that Hawaii has some of the lowest juvenile incarceration rates in the United States. What explains juvenile incarceration rates across the states? This paper explores the political factors that contribute to juvenile incarceration; in particular, the focus is on state participation in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This organization is a council between legislators and corporations, many of which are in the private prison industry. ALEC incentivizes legislators to increase incarceration rates through funding, networking, and electoral support. States, such as Pennsylvania, have had over forty representatives in ALEC, and also have incredibly high rates of incarceration, especially among juveniles. In contrast, Hawaii’s legislators have little to do with the organization, and low levels of juvenile incarceration. The tie between this council and crime could be the answer to Hawaii’s crime rate, and should provide insights on mass juvenile incarceration in the United States. The results have shown that ALEC membership has a significant effect on juvenile incarceration rates. It is important to understand their heavy hand in creating legislation and how it affects state level incarceration rates, and those in the United States as a whole.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:35am - 11:55am
237 Zageir Hall

Attendees (3)